Guinea Pigs Just Began to Bully

Nirad

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
50
Hey everyone, I'm new to the community and I've had a couple of guinea pigs for a while now. They've always been very relaxed and fun to hold and play with, but just recently (in the last week or so) my long haired one has begun to bully and harm the short haired one and it's now showing scabs. I have them currently separated while I'm asleep and working because I'm not there to tend to them, but I'm trying to keep them acquainted with one another while I'm there in hopes that they'll end up getting along again. They're both almost 1 year old now. Is there anything else I can do to help prevent the attacking? Am I doing something wrong that I need to fix? I've been considering a larger cage, but I'm short on money for something like that right now. Any ideas are welcome. Thank you!
 

Sweet Potato

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
1,254
Reaction score
3,152
Points
1,075
Location
Cheshire, England
can you describe exactly what's going on? you use the word "bully" which would suggest some minor scraps and then you say "attack" and that one of them has scabs which suggests that they have been fighting and need to be separated immediately. your boys may have been ok up until this point but may have started fighting due to an increase in hormones as they go through their teenage phase. if this is the case they may have to be separated permanently.
 

Nirad

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
50
They're both girls. I guess you could use the word attack. Only the long haired one has attacked though. The other one only runs away when this happens
 

Sweet Potato

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
1,254
Reaction score
3,152
Points
1,075
Location
Cheshire, England
I don't have girls so I'm no expert on their behaviour and I know it is more common with boys but any two pigs can fall out if there personalities don't match. I would keep them separated if there's any risk of injury to any piggie. Is there a way you can separate them so they can still see each other through the bars?
 

Piggies&buns

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
11,774
Reaction score
14,320
Points
2,125
Location
Cambridgeshire
I note you say you are keeping them apart when you can’t be there. The problem with constantly separating and then reintroducing them is that it is stressful for them. You need to either decide that they aren’t compatible and keep them apart, or leave them to sort it out. The issue is though is that if they are injuring each other, then they are unlikely to be able to stay together
 

Piggies&buns

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
11,774
Reaction score
14,320
Points
2,125
Location
Cambridgeshire

Nirad

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
50
Cage size isn't too big but not small. Maybe 6 square feet max? I have 2 water spots and 2 feeding bowls. Hay feeder is pretty long so there shouldn't be any sort of problem with fighting over food or water. I'm gonna need to get some sort of a fence that they can see each other though. Right now it's just cardboard cause that's all I had laying around. I had this same problem with my old Guinea pigs a few years ago too, I just bought a large cage and they got along much better but I don't have that option at the moment due to low funds. I was just curious if there was something I needed to do, or could do, to help them get along better
 

Piggies&buns

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
11,774
Reaction score
14,320
Points
2,125
Location
Cambridgeshire
Cage size isn't too big but not small. Maybe 6 square feet max? I have 2 water spots and 2 feeding bowls. Hay feeder is pretty long so there shouldn't be any sort of problem with fighting over food or water. I'm gonna need to get some sort of a fence that they can see each other though. Right now it's just cardboard cause that's all I had laying around. I had this same problem with my old Guinea pigs a few years ago too, I just bought a large cage and they got along much better but I don't have that option at the moment due to low funds. I was just curious if there was something I needed to do, or could do, to help them get along better
Sadly 6 square feet is too small. The minimum welfare cage size for two piggies is 8 square feet, but bigger is always better. Lack of space will cause tensions in relationships.
If you divide their cage, then neither of them will have enough room. Cage Size Guide

Do read the guides to see if you can determine the behaviours you are seeing
 
Last edited:

Nirad

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
50
I've been reading those more now. I'll have to see how much a larger cage will set me back. I'm planning on cleaning their cage and toys up really well tonight and reorganizing it to see if that'll help settle them down and let them go for a minute. I haven't seen them break into a full on fight but I've realized I've been breaking them up too early in the whole establishing dominance. Hopefully this will all help out. Thank you!
 

Piggies&buns

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
11,774
Reaction score
14,320
Points
2,125
Location
Cambridgeshire
I've been reading those more now. I'll have to see how much a larger cage will set me back. I'm planning on cleaning their cage and toys up really well tonight and reorganizing it to see if that'll help settle them down and let them go for a minute. I haven't seen them break into a full on fight but I've realized I've been breaking them up too early in the whole establishing dominance. Hopefully this will all help out. Thank you!

This is one other guide which will be useful to you Moody guinea pigs: Depression, Bullying, Aggression, Stress, Fear and Antisocial Behaviour
It is really important to understand the behaviours you are seeing, so you know what is normal dominance and within normal levels, and when it turns into bullying or aggression. With sows, you are less likely the see the full on fights that you see in boars.
Do keep in mind that though that if they truly have problems within their relationship, then there isn’t anything you can do about that, nothing you do will make them like each other again
 

Nirad

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
50
Which is so sad... They got along so well until the last week. I hope I can get it all worked out. If not a bigger cage and mesh divider will have to do
 

Piggies&buns

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
11,774
Reaction score
14,320
Points
2,125
Location
Cambridgeshire
Which is so sad... They got along so well until the last week. I hope I can get it all worked out. If not a bigger cage and mesh divider will have to do
You will still need a bigger cage to be able to have them divided though. If you divide a 6sq ft cage then they are only getting 3sq ft each which is far far too small even for a single piggy
 

Sweet Potato

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
1,254
Reaction score
3,152
Points
1,075
Location
Cheshire, England
look into c&c cages they can be made really quite cheaply mine was only £40 to make and a divider can be added in easily.
 
Top